The Department of History at Illinois State University provides a challenging and flexible master's degree. Through our curriculum, students can explore American and European history, as well as the histories of South and Latin America, China, India, Africa, and the Middle East, as they decide what careers they might pursue or as they develop their credentials in existing careers. Student may also take courses outside the department or develop their interests through independent study work and internships that count toward their degree credits. The approximately 40 full and part-time students in our program graduate very well positioned to make use of their degrees in a variety of different ways.
At Illinois State, students find an experienced faculty who is committed to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our department consists of 22 tenured or tenure-track faculty, a number of part-time or shared-time faculty, three secretarial staff members, and a number of Graduate Teaching Assistants and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants. The faculty itself is diverse, coming from many different backgrounds, and specializing in a wide range of geographic areas, periods, and sub-fields.
Point of Pride
Several of the Department of History’s M.A. graduates are pursuing their Ph.D. or law degree in programs such as University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and University of Michigan.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to Admissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
A student applying to this program must:
- have an undergraduate degree in History or related field.
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale or higher at the undergraduate level
- submit a personal statement of 250-500 words that explains why you hope to pursue a graduate degree in history. Highlight academic or life experiences that have shaped your intellectual development; describe your particular areas of interest in the field of history; explain what you hope to achieve or accomplish as a graduate student in history.
- submit a brief resume.
- submit a sample of written work (ex: a research paper of 10-20 pages).
- submit names and email addresses of two references, preferably from those familiar with your academic work, for letters of recommendation within the online application.
Please note: the History Department does not require but does accept GRE scores.
- Fall (August) Term — January 31
- Spring (January) Term — October 15
- Spring (January) Term — September 15 for International students
- Summer (May/June) Term — April 1
The University provides graduate assistantships on a competitive basis as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session)
The History Department awards graduate assistantships based on the strength of a students' admissions application, including their undergraduate GPA, their letters of recommendation, and their writing sample. To maintain an assistantship, a student must remain in good academic standing.
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.